Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the
opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S.
Route 101 and California State Route 1, it connects the city of San Francisco on
the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula to Marin County. The Golden Gate
Bridge was the longest suspension bridge span in the world when it was completed
during the year 1937, and has become one of the most internationally recognized
symbols of San Francisco, California, and of the United States. Despite its span
length being surpassed by eight other bridges since its completion, it still has
the second longest suspension bridge main span in the United States, after the
Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in New York City. It has been declared one of the
modern Wonders of the World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The
Frommers travel guide considers the Golden Gate Bridge the "possibly the most
beautiful, certainly the most photographed, bridge in the world".
Designed by Joseph Strauss, Construction began on January 5, 1933. The
project cost more than $35 million.
Strauss remained head of the project, overseeing day-to-day construction and
making some groundbreaking contributions. A graduate of the University of
Cincinnati, he placed a brick from his alma mater's demolished McMicken Hall in
the south anchorage before the concrete was poured. He innovated the use of
movable safety netting beneath the construction site, which saved the lives of
many otherwise-unprotected steelworkers. Of eleven men killed from falls during
construction, ten were killed (when the bridge was near completion) when the net
failed under the stress of a scaffold that had fallen.
The project was finished by April 1937, $1.3 million under budget.
Photo 42, 1973